By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES – As far as their relationship with Cuba goes, both the Soviet Union and Russia have always acted and treated the island as if they were a supreme power. The Caribbean island’s strategic position, 90 miles away from its opposing rival, and constant tension in its relationship with the US, has turned it into an already historic and unreplaceable strategic ally, even if it comes at a dear price.
Despite the image of “equals” which the Cuban Communist Party has always wanted to give the bilateral relationship, dating back to when the late Fidel Castro was in power, in reality, there are only hegemonic interests, unilateral decisions and Cuba has even had to subjugate its national interests. The rest is just packaging, an illusion, a mirage.
Since the Cuban Missile Crisis, when events developed without consultation, and only Soviet interests were on the negotiation table (Cuban interests were only present if they suited their own); up until the surprising withdrawal of the “De Lourdes” Signal Intelligence station, against Fidel Castro’s wishes as he received income and information from intelligence on the US; it’s clear that the Communist Party Government bows to Russia, and Russia uses Cuba with more supremacy than experienced with the US.
Along with Nicaragua and Venezuela, Cuba has the discredit of making up the support group, on this side of the Atlantic, for Russia’s imperialist war against its neighbor Ukraine. These are precisely the three countries where authoritarianism has crushed or voided democracy, a common point they share with Putin’s Russia, and where Russia Today and Sputnik propaganda agrees with official discourse.
In reality, the official discourse of Miguel Diaz-Canel’s Government is the same as that of Vladimir Putin’s. From an ethical, humane, and even legal standpoint, there’s nothing to justify this. Plus, our State has taken on different international commitments under its own government and that of its predecessors from the same one-party.
What does the Cuban Constitution have to say about political/military events such as Russia’s war against Ukraine?
Article 16. clause b) (The Cuban State) “ratifies its aspiration for a dignified, true, and valid peace for all States, based on the respect for independence and sovereignty of the people and their right to free determination…”
Clause c) “Sustains the will to observe, without restrictions, the principles and norms that constitute international law, in particular the equality of laws, territorial integrity, the independence of states, the nonuse of threats of force in international relations, international cooperation for mutual and equal benefit and interest, the peaceful resolution of controversies on the basis of equality, respect, and the other principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.”
While clause h) “Condemns direct or indirect intervention in the internal or external affairs of any State and, therefore, also condemns armed aggression, any form of political or economic coercion, unilateral blockades that violate International Law, or any other type of interference or threat to the integrity of the States.”
It’s clear that if they were to comply with the Cuban Government’s own Carta Magna, they would be forced to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine since the beginning of this year, instead of support it, as well as the illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014. Not doing so is unconstitutional.
How can the PCC Government support an imperialist war that wants to strip Ukraine of part of its sovereign territory, like Donbas and Crimea? How can they support someone who is using war to settle discrepancies and apply political pressure?
These are questions that have no answer in legal logic, but rather in the logic of double standards when it comes to politics; in their disagreement with the US and the hope that Russian authoritarianism can help them hold out against domestic and foreign pressure for Cuba’s democratization.
This is why the PCC Government in Cuba and its official media aren’t using the words “war” or “invasion”, but the euphemism “special military operation”, like Russia is, to define the imperialist war of pillage against Ukraine. But clearly, this isn’t enough to cover the dirt of their actions.